Sailing is dying.
Regatta numbers are down.
Young adults are leaving the sport after they get out of college.
That's the conventional wisdom. And maybe there's some truth in it.
So, if you are running a regatta how do you persuade masses of people to come to it?
These days, simply putting out a NOR saying that there will be 5 races with the first gun at 11am just isn't enough.
You have to offer some things that will make people excited to come to your regatta instead of staying home to mow the lawn. You need some carrots.
I was impressed with what the folks at Wequaquet Lake are doing to attract people to their Sunfish regatta later this month. Check out their website....
1. They are raffling off a 60th Anniversary Sunfish Sail donated by LaserPerformance.
2. They are hosting a free clinic by former North American Champ Bill Brangiforte.
3. They are having a carnival with a bouncy house, cotton candy, popcorn, face painting and games.
4. And on Saturday night they will be running something called "Adult Bingo" whatever that is! The mind boggles!
Something to win, something to learn, entertainment for the kids (maybe to attract back some of those sailors with young kids who aren't allowed to leave them every weekend to go sailing?) - and "adult" entertainment too.
What's not to like?
OK. OK. OK. Maybe a bouncy house and adult bingo are not the right things to attract sailors in your class to your regatta.
But at least they are trying some novel things.
How are you going to persuade sailors to come to your next regatta?
How big are your carrots?